My grandmother had a brown kitchen with
A brown table, brown chairs, and brown
Faux brick walls that flanked a brown
Wicker chandelier that hung slightly too low
From the ceiling.
Just my grandmother and me in an old house
Filled only with generations of women and
Stubborn laughter, I asked for mashed potatoes
At lunchtime in the bright brown light of her
Kitchen windows. Eagerly, she pealed and boiled
The brown potatoes in her brown kitchen,
Cut pats of butter, and mixed the potatoes
Together in a huge steel pot.
Hungry, I took a big bite of the
Mashed potatoes and screeched that they were
Lumpy, that these weren’t mashed
Potatoes because mashed potatoes were creamy
Not lumpy like that and it tasted all wrong.
As my mom walked through the brown door
In the brown kitchen she explained
That we only ever ate instant potatoes
And that’s why I was so confused.
Walking over to the microwave
My grandmother heated up a fresh bowl
Of instant mashed potatoes and placed the
Flakes turned cream before me. Love, she
Seemed to be saying, plants its seeds
Throwing out the homemade
Mashed potatoes, she seemed to be saying
That love is effort, and sometimes love
Is effort wasted without expectation.
But it is love nonetheless.
From today’s NaPoWriMo prompt on food.